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BackStory with the American History Guys

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BackStory is a weekly one-hour public radio show that provides a national broadcast audience with an enjoyable and accessible way of engaging challenging themes in American history and how they connect with today. The show is hosted by renowned historians Peter Onuf, Ed Ayers, and Brian Balogh. BackStory’s signature sound and spirit of inquiry emanates from the hearts and minds of its genial hosts, whose unscripted brilliance reflects a warmth and rapport that comes from their longtime friendship.

Please confirm carriage of BackStory with the American History Guys by contacting Andrew Parsons at (434) 982-2955 or andrewparsons@virginia.edu.

Moving from current headlines to drill down into U.S. history, each surprising BackStory episode features lively interviews with a diverse roster of scholars, experts, and ordinary citizens from around the country; listener calls; host discussions; and produced pieces. Topics are as diverse as college sports, reenactments, sugar, memorials, domestic terrorism, birthing, homeownership, the post office, philanthropy, protests, privacy, marriage, revivalism, and childhood—all in the context of American history.

Since BackStory first began as a monthly show in 2008, episodes have been broadcast by more than 130 primary stations in 39 states, 29 in the top 50 markets by population. Podcasts have been downloaded 1.4 million times.

BackStory is produced by VFH Radio at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Major funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities with additional corporate, foundation, institutional, and individual support.

Please visit our station landing page for upcoming episodes, promotional photos, and other information.

 


Pieces

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Where do Jewish food and culture meet in a tasty way? The deli, of course. This story comes from the BackStory episode "Judaism in America." http:/...

  • Added: Apr 29, 2016
  • Length: 07:37
Caption: Junior High School: Classroom, by Harris & Ewing., Credit: Library of Congress
The mother-daughter team of Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs-Myers invented the Myers Briggs Type Indicator test to help women find jobs dur...

  • Added: Apr 29, 2016
  • Length: 11:34
Caption: Junior High School: Classroom, by Harris & Ewing., Credit: Library of Congress
Until the late 19th century, party affiliation mattered more than qualification when it came to landing a job in the federal government. The Guys t...

  • Added: Apr 29, 2016
  • Length: 08:43
Caption: “The Almightier,” illustration from Puck, May 15th, 1907, Credit: Library of Congress
This month, the U.S. Treasure announced that Harriet Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill. In this episode, we evaluate...

  • Added: Apr 29, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: “The Almightier,” illustration from Puck, May 15th, 1907 , Credit: Library of Congress
This month, the U.S. Treasury announced that Harriet Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill. In this episode, we evaluate...

  • Added: Apr 29, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Junior High School: Classroom, by Harris & Ewing, Credit: Library of Congress
Psychologist Henry Goddard thought he could devise a test that would accurately rank students based on intelligence, but his ideas and methods were...

  • Added: Apr 29, 2016
  • Length: 11:56
Caption: “The Almightier,” illustration from Puck, May 15th, 1907, Credit: Library of Congress
30-second promo for "On The Money" with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag.

Bought by 90.1 WFYI Public Radio


  • Added: Apr 26, 2016
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Boy in prayer shawl. , Credit: Library of Congress
This month, Jewish communities across the country celebrate Passover, a holiday that marks the end of the Israelites’ enslavement by the Egyptians....

  • Added: Apr 22, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Jewish boy in prayer shawl - 1911, Credit: Library of Congress
This month, Jewish communities across the country celebrate Passover, a holiday that marks the end of the Israelites’ enslavement by the Egyptians....

Bought by KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, WEZU, XRAY.fm, WYAP, WRGY and more


  • Added: Apr 22, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: Boy in prayer shawl., Credit: Library of Congress
30-second promo for "Judaism In America" with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag.

Bought by 90.1 WFYI Public Radio


  • Added: Apr 19, 2016
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 1
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As Senate Republicans refuse to consider President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, the History Guys review the history of gridlock i...

  • Added: Apr 15, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
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While Senate Republicans refuse to consider President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, the History Guys review the history of gridloc...

Bought by WRIR, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, XRAY.fm, RadioFreePalmer, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Apr 15, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 6
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30-second promo for " Stuck: A History of Political Gridlock [rebroadcast]" with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag.

Bought by 90.1 WFYI Public Radio


  • Added: Apr 12, 2016
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Junior High School: Classroom, by Harris & Ewing. , Credit: Source: Library of Congress
This spring, millions of American high school students will be taking the newly redesigned SAT, which was first administered in 1926. It’s just one...

  • Added: Apr 08, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Junior High School: Classroom, by Harris & Ewing. , Credit: Library of Congress
This spring, millions of American high school students are taking the newly redesigned SAT, which was first administered in 1926. It’s just one of ...

Bought by KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, XRAY.fm, WEZU, WMUU-LP, RadioFreePalmer and more


  • Added: Apr 08, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Junior High School: Classroom, by Harris & Ewing. , Credit: Source: Library of Congress
30-second promo for "Pass/Fail: An American History of Testing" with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag.

  • Added: Apr 05, 2016
  • Length: :30
Caption: The University of Virginia Basketball Team, 1914. , Credit: Holsinger Collection, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia
With less than 2% of ESPN March Madness brackets still perfect, the madness may be more like sadness for many college basketball fans right now. In...

Bought by KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, XRAY.fm, WRGY, WRIR, KTSW 89.9 and more


  • Added: Apr 01, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: The University of Virginia Basketball Team, 1914, Credit: Holsinger Collection, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia
With less than 2% of ESPN March Madness brackets still perfect, the madness may be more like sadness for many college basketball fans right now. In...

  • Added: Apr 01, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: The University of Virginia Basketball Team, 1914, Credit: Holsinger Collection, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia
30-second promo for "Turf War [2016]: A History of College Sports [rebroadcast]" with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag.

  • Added: Mar 29, 2016
  • Length: :30
Caption: Wilmington City Hall, New Hanover County, NC , Credit: Library of Congress
Producer Steven Jackson profiles the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, and the challenges facing residents who wanted to diversify the area. This story c...

Bought by WRIR


  • Added: Mar 28, 2016
  • Length: 09:39
  • Purchases: 1